North Carolina Legal Information

In July 2014, North Carolina enacted HB 1220, known as North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, creating a pilot program that allows medical use of CBD-rich oil only for registered patients diagnosed by a neurologist at one of four universities as having intractable epilepsy that has not been responsive to at least three other treatment options. Access is to be only through a registered caregiver who must be a parent, guardian, or legal custodian and who must obtain the CBD oil in a state with reciprocity to purchase medical cannabis products. Most medical cannabis jurisdictions that honor reciprocity for other state registration cards do not allow patients/caregivers from out of state to purchase any medical cannabis products. The CBD-rich oil must contain at least 10% CBD, no more than 0.3% THC, and must have no other psychoactive components.

In July of 2015 House Bill 766 was signed by Gov. McCrory amending HB1220 to expand qualified physicians to include any doctor board certified in neurology and affiliated with any state-licensed hospital. The bill also changed the required THC/CBD percentages for medical cannabis from greater than 10% CBD and  less than .3% THC to greater than 5% CBD and less than .9% THC. There were also changes to enhance patient privacy as well as the addition of a sunset clause, ending the medical cannabis program in 2021 if studies fail to show therapeutic relief from CBD.


In This Section

North Carolina Medical Marijuana Laws and Regulations

North Carolina’s medical marijuana law took effect in July 2014, creating a pilot program that authorizes research on “hemp extract” for the purpose of treating intractable epilepsy. Diagnosed patients must be under the care of a state-approved neurologist who has attempted three or more failed treatment options. This section includes a brief summary of the law and links to general resources for patients, caregivers and physicians.

Becoming a patient in North Carolina

To become a medical cannabis patient in North Carolina, a person must be diagnosed by a neurologist with intractable epilepsy. Patients and caregivers are only protected for use and possession of lab-certified extracts that cannot produce psychoactive effects. This section includes an overview of state requirements for qualifying patients and links to other helpful resources.

Recommending Cannabis in North Carolina

Licensed neurologists who are affiliated with one of four select Universities, can obtain state approval for a pilot study. Registered physicians are exempt from all criminal and civil penalties under North Carolina law. This section includes an overview of state requirements and links to other medical information.

Facing state or federal charges?

Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.